By Rieva Lesonsky
“The Candyman Can…
…Take tomorrow and dip it in a dream.” That dream of success is coming true for upscale candy store entrepreneurs
Among the several businesses my grandfather owned was a candy store (in fact, that’s where my parents met as teens). It wasn’t fancy (so they tell me; he had opened a different business by the time I was born), just your basic candy and a soda fountain. But that was then…
…and this is now…when, according to the Los Angeles Times, “upstart companies are launching sweet shops for grown-ups.” The big difference between then and now: The Times says today’s candy stores are for those “with a taste for luxury and bank accounts to match.”
To be fair, candy in general is experiencing a popular resurgence. The National Confectioners Association says last year we Americans spent nearly $34 billion on candy, up almost 10 percent from 2010.
But the candy stores the Times wrote about are upscale and definitely targeted to adults, selling “pretty boxes of Guinness-infused marshmallows or champagne-flavored gummy bears.”
An industry analyst from IBISWorld told the Times, “There is a lot of room for innovation” in the candy business. This new trend goes even further than upscale candy store pioneer Dylan’s Candy Bar, which has been around since 2001.
Among the entrepreneurial businesses featured in the article are Sugarfina (pictured left), a small but expanding Southern Californian chain that also sells its candy to Nordstrom. The owners told the Times revenue from 2013 to 2014 was expected to triple, hitting $3 million. Sugarfina strives to sell candy that is unique in the U.S.
Lolli and Pops, another small chain mentioned by the Times, has “an old-fashioned soda fountain serving malts, egg creams and root beer floats” (just like my Grandpa’s store did) and “themed rooms.”
There’s a lot of opportunity in this market, both in retailing (online, as well as in-store) and in manufacturing.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.
Photo Courtesy: Lolli and Pops